Beware. Spoilers ahead.
Season 3. Episode 9. Lively music and welcoming toasts fill the atmosphere of Lord Walder Frey’s great dining hall as members of the Northern army, led by House Stark, enjoy a night of apparent bliss and celebrate the wedding between House Tully and House Frey. Fans are able to finally relax and savor the rare gift of a peaceful scene in Game of Thrones, or so they thought.
The band begins to perform “The Rains of Castamere” and viewers catch a glimpse of Catelyn Stark’s horrified face when she lifts Roose Bolton’s sleeve to reveal chain mail armor hidden underneath — nobody is safe. Suddenly, Pregnant Talisa is stabbed in the stomach, the King in the North, Robb Stark, is shot with a crossbow and the fearful Catelyn’s throat is brutally slit. With almost no time for fans to react, a handful of the show’s most beloved protagonists are gone.
“The Red Wedding” is only one of Game of Thrones’s many shocking, cruel scenes that defies television’s unwritten rule of not killing off main characters. HBO’s prize piece has become one of the most iconic, complex TV shows in history, and after 595 torturous days without a new episode, fans have never been more eager to see what twists and heartbreaks the final season of the greatest cinematic masterpiece of all time has to offer.
People who don’t watch the show are often confused by the deep love so many have for the graphic fantasy series. Regardless, Game of Thrones has attracted millions of viewers with its suspenseful story line and competitive characters.
Game of Thrones is a breath of fresh air in our mundane, routine lives, as each episode offers a new plot twist or character death. Always met with the unexpected scenario, die-hard fans yearn for more every week. The show especially allows students to put their stress in perspective. While getting an A on a test may seem like a life-altering necessity, the actual life or death situations the characters must experience allow viewers to realize how insignificant their stress is in comparison.
We also see a bit of our ourselves in each character; from the spoiled, psychopathic king Joffrey to the sweet, nerdy Samwell, each person’s character development, or lack thereof, offers priceless life lessons.
As one of the show’s most beloved characters, Jon Snow represents the person so many want to be: a natural leader with strong morals. Snow is willing to risk his life for what he believes in and remains to be a stable presence of good. Honorable, strong and loyal, Snow is a true Stark (except R+L=J, so he’s actually a Targaryen).
Whether you hated her and now love her, or you hated her and still hate her, Cersei Lannister is arguably one of the most notorious, genius villains in film and literary history. She has done plenty wrong, including having sex with her twin brother, poisoning her husband and blowing up the Sept of Baelor along with hundreds of innocent people in it. However, Cersei is also one of the strongest, most independent women in Westeros’s patriarchal society. She displays tenacity through all her evil deeds and teaches us that we can achieve anything if willing to face the challenges.
For all of you who have binged this series, thank you for being on this journey with us. As you watch the final season, don’t forget to keep a box of tissues nearby, because when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.